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Sky-High Icebergs Carried Boulders From The Rockies To In South-Central Washington
Science Daily ^ | 11-4-2003 | Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Posted on 11/05/2003 6:29:54 AM PST by blam

Source: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Date: 2003-11-04

Sky-high Icebergs Carried Boulders From The Rockies To In South-central Washington

Seattle -- Geologists have uncovered a scene in the Pasco Basin west of the Columbia River in Washington state that shows how boulders piggybacked icebergs from what is now Montana and came to rest at elevations as high as 1,200 feet.

Although glacial deposits of rocks and boulders are common, especially in the upper Midwest, "There probably isn't anyplace else in the world where there are so many rocks that rafted in on icebergs," said Bruce Bjornstad, a geologist at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Wash.

Bjornstad presented his team's results at the Geological Society of America Annual Meeting in Seattle today.

The rocks were left after ice dams holding back a huge lake near Missoula, Mont., broke, re-formed and broke again from 1 million to 2 million years ago to as recently as 13,000 years ago. The floodwaters backed up at the downstream end of the Pasco Basin behind Wallula Gap, a narrow ridge opening through which the Columbia River flows today. The lake lapped the gentle slope of Rattlesnake Mountain, northwest of the gap and part of the Hanford Reach National Monument in south-central Washington Rattlesnake Mountain was the highest peak protruding from the 800-foot-deep temporary body of water, dubbed Lake Lewis. The rocks and boulders, so-called erratics, grounded as the waters of Lake Lewis receded after a few days like a slowly draining bathtub.

Bjornstad led a team that surveyed and analyzed the mostly-granite-strewn debris fields over 15 square miles of Rattlesnake Mountain. He said that the ice-rafted debris left deposits of three types: widely scattered rocks and boulders, distinct clusters and "bergmounds" – low, cone-shaped clumps of erratics that, like a moraine left by glaciers, alter the topography. Bjornstad's group discovered rafted rocks as long as 14 feet.

The erratics were concentrated along northeast-running gullies. Bjornstad suggests that the speed of the flowing water varied as it crossed an uneven surface, and that may have created eddies that forced an ice jam in the deeper, quieter waters at the back of these gullies. The erratics and bergmounds decreased as the surveyors worked up the mountainside. Bjornstad attributed the lower number to smaller successive floods.

Bjornstad and his colleagues found that most of the erratics were rounded, showing the effects of weathering and suggesting that they were carried in by older Ice Age floods.

Collaborating with Bjornstad on the study were Elysia Jennett, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff; Jenna Gaston, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Hanford Reach National Monument, Richland; and Gary Kleinknecht, Kamiakin High School, Kennewick, Wash.

###

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is a Department of Energy Office of Science research facility that advances the fundamental understanding of complex systems, and provides science-based solutions to some of the nation's most pressing challenges in national security, energy and environmental quality. The laboratory employs more than 3,800 scientists, engineers, technicians and support staff, and has an annual budget of nearly $600 million. Battelle, based in Columbus, Ohio, has operated PNNL for the federal government since the laboratory's inception in 1965.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events; US: Idaho; US: Montana; US: Washington
KEYWORDS: archaeology; boulders; catastrophism; ggg; godsgravesglyphs; history; icebergs; rockies; washington

1 posted on 11/05/2003 6:29:56 AM PST by blam
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To: Renfield; RightWhale
Ping.
2 posted on 11/05/2003 6:30:28 AM PST by blam
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To: blam
Reminds me of the Maine joke.

Interloper: Hey, oldtimer! Where did all these rocks come from?

Mainer: Ayuh, glacier brought 'em.

Interloper: Well, where's the glacier now?

Mainer: Went back for more rocks.

3 posted on 11/05/2003 6:34:11 AM PST by N. Theknow (Be a glowworm, a glowworm's never glum, cuz how can you be grumpy when the sun shines out your bum.)
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To: blam
"...widely scattered rocks and boulders, distinct clusters and "bergmounds"..."

Better put some ice on that!

4 posted on 11/05/2003 6:41:36 AM PST by NicknamedBob (I wouldn't be judgmental, if people weren't so STUPID!)
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To: blam
It's a good thing our distant relatives fired up their power plants and SUV's bringing and end to the cold weather that fostered these huge glaciers 10,000 years ago.

You have to hand it to them knowing all about carbon dioxide back then before gov't paid scientists!

5 posted on 11/05/2003 7:13:00 AM PST by Voltage
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To: blam
Already knew about this...I attended Soil Science Institute (a 4-week training session for professional soil scientists) at Washington State University this summer, and we took field trips into the Channeled Scablands to study just this event. It was fascinating (and a beautiful area). If we ever meet in person, I'll tell you all about it.
6 posted on 11/05/2003 8:13:22 AM PST by Renfield
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To: Renfield
I grew up in Eastern Washington. Some of the most fascinating geology there is... You can find examples of just about anything there.
7 posted on 11/05/2003 8:18:26 AM PST by r9etb
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To: blam
New England is like that. The ground is scoured down to granite bedrock, which is now weathered to a degree, and there are terminal morains of good size. Long Island, for example.
8 posted on 11/05/2003 8:48:49 AM PST by RightWhale (Repeal the Law of the Excluded Middle)
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To: r9etb
Pound for pound, the Lake Missoula ice dam is one of the more interesting recent geological events.


9 posted on 11/05/2003 9:01:53 AM PST by Rebelbase
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To: Rebelbase
This article about Dry Falls gives some excellent descriptions.

If you've ever been to the area -- it just makes one itch to have seen it in person (from a safely hovering helicopter, of course).

10 posted on 11/05/2003 9:07:31 AM PST by r9etb
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To: Renfield
Yeah, I first heard about this at Columbia Basin Sporstman Club banquetback inthe early '90's. The first real work on this by a geologist named Bretz, was rejected by the geological society back in the 1920's.

It sure is good to know that we have to pay for this "new" research over and over again. Here are just a few of the links:

http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/columbia/missoula.htm

http://gsahist.org/gsat2/pardee.htm

http://www.nps.gov/iceagefloods/contacts.htm

If you want more just type in "Columbia Basin Scablands", "Eastern Washington Geology", or "Bretz, J.H." in your search engine"..

11 posted on 11/05/2003 9:13:48 AM PST by shotgun
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To: shotgun
Sorry, I fogot my backslashes:

http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/columbia/missoula.htm/
http://gsahist.org/gsat2/pardee.htm/ http://www.nps.gov/iceagefloods/contacts.htm/

12 posted on 11/05/2003 9:19:06 AM PST by shotgun
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To: blam; FairOpinion; Ernest_at_the_Beach; SunkenCiv; 24Karet; 3AngelaD; 4ConservativeJustices; ...
blast from the past.
Please FREEPMAIL me if you want on, off, or alter the "Gods, Graves, Glyphs" PING list --
Archaeology/Anthropology/Ancient Cultures/Artifacts/Antiquities, etc.
The GGG Digest
-- Gods, Graves, Glyphs (alpha order)

13 posted on 12/28/2004 3:20:05 PM PST by SunkenCiv (It's a big planet. We're willing to share. They're not. Out they go.)
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To: SunkenCiv

I'm waiting for the really big announcement, that they found the Holy Grail inside the Ark of the Covenant, hidden in a closet in Atlantis. Underneath all the glacial boulders, of course.


14 posted on 12/28/2004 3:35:43 PM PST by djf
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To: djf

You may have a while to wait. :')


15 posted on 12/28/2004 3:48:07 PM PST by SunkenCiv (My Sunday Feeling is that Nothing is easy. Goes for the rest of the week too.)
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To: djf

I have a Ton (No Pun Intended) of Boulders in my neighborhood, size of VW's.


16 posted on 12/28/2004 3:50:29 PM PST by cmsgop (When The Cracker Gets Old, Get Off Your A$$ and Buy a New Box........)
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Catastrophic Flooding From Ancient Lake May Have Triggered Cold Period
Newswise ^ | 12-18-2004 | Jeff Donnelly
Posted on 12/18/2004 11:51:06 AM PST by blam
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1304205/posts

map showing the Channeled Scablands:
http://www.geology.ewu.edu/ftrips/aquifer/floodmap.jpg

found at:
http://www.FreeRepublic.com/forum/a3921cfc5772d.htm#16


17 posted on 12/28/2004 3:57:21 PM PST by SunkenCiv (My Sunday Feeling is that Nothing is easy. Goes for the rest of the week too.)
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To: blam
I live a couple miles from Rattlesnake Mountain. Yes, it has rocks in the strangest places.

It would be even bigger news if a similar scenario were discovered on Mars, thereby placing the "log" where it is today. Glacier on Mars ping.

18 posted on 12/28/2004 4:02:20 PM PST by steve86
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To: shotgun
Thanks for the links. Very interesting to explore the coulee just east of Connell, which I did on foot a couple of weekends ago. Seems less eroded than many of them do.
19 posted on 12/28/2004 4:05:15 PM PST by steve86
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To: SunkenCiv

When will we get a "news" release that there are volcanos in the Cascade mountain range?


20 posted on 12/28/2004 5:21:13 PM PST by ValerieUSA
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To: ValerieUSA

and besides that, why shouldn't "Dawn", or "Mop 'n' Glo" have mountain ranges named after them, too? ;')


21 posted on 12/28/2004 5:42:38 PM PST by SunkenCiv (My Sunday Feeling is that Nothing is easy. Goes for the rest of the week too.)
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To: SunkenCiv

They do ... you just don't pronounce them correctly.

Also, when did "sky high" become a scientific term?


22 posted on 12/28/2004 6:25:27 PM PST by ValerieUSA
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To: ValerieUSA

In high school, ever since the headline writer encountered his first bong.


23 posted on 12/28/2004 6:44:29 PM PST by SunkenCiv ("The odds are very much against inclusion, and non-inclusion is unlikely to be meaningful." -seamole)
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To: ValerieUSA
When will we get a "news" release that there are volcanos in the Cascade mountain range?

Is there a major peak in the Cascade Range that isn't volcanic in origin?

24 posted on 12/28/2004 6:52:13 PM PST by reg45
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To: sjeann
Interesting stuff about Washington, careful of the million years conjectures stuck in there (they are obligatory).
25 posted on 12/28/2004 6:57:54 PM PST by Bellflower (A NEW DAY IS COMING!)
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To: reg45

Not since I left Washington.


26 posted on 12/28/2004 7:05:19 PM PST by ValerieUSA
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To: reg45

Oh wait... the mountains I'm thinking of are in the other western "W" state...


27 posted on 12/28/2004 7:06:15 PM PST by ValerieUSA
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To: SunkenCiv

Wow man! I, like, got that one! heh heh


28 posted on 12/28/2004 7:07:07 PM PST by ValerieUSA
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To: ValerieUSA

Heh... yeah, I thought up that joke back in nineteen-seventy... uh... nineteen-seventy... hmm... nineteen-seventy...


29 posted on 12/28/2004 7:37:33 PM PST by SunkenCiv ("The odds are very much against inclusion, and non-inclusion is unlikely to be meaningful." -seamole)
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To: cmsgop
I have a Ton (No Pun Intended) of Boulders in my neighborhood, size of VW's.

You could have a rock festival.

30 posted on 12/28/2004 8:17:31 PM PST by reg45
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To: reg45

Thats a Stone Cold Idea!


31 posted on 12/29/2004 8:47:17 AM PST by cmsgop (When The Cracker Gets Old, Get Off Your A$$ and Buy a New Box........)
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Experts Seek Trail to Mark Ice Age Floods (National Park Service Study)
Yahoo News | 11/10/03 | Joseph B. Frazier - AP
Posted on 11/10/2003 7:55:28 PM PST by NormsRevenge
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1018958/posts


32 posted on 08/29/2005 11:13:54 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (Down with Dhimmicrats! I last updated by FR profile on Sunday, August 14, 2005.)
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To: blam

Interesting idea that boulders rode on top of glaciers. Should we ask how these boulders got on top of glaciers in the first place?


33 posted on 08/29/2005 11:18:01 AM PDT by RightWhale (Cloudy, 51 degrees, scattered showers, wind <5 knots in Fairbanks)
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To: RightWhale
Should we ask how these boulders got on top of glaciers in the first place?

Really severe frost heave?

34 posted on 08/29/2005 11:24:25 AM PDT by LexBaird (tyrannosaurus Lex, unapologetic carnivore)
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To: r9etb
I grew up in Eastern Washington. Some of the most fascinating geology there is... You can find examples of just about anything there.

Driving Route 12 through the Palouse is magical - the landscape seems surreal.

35 posted on 08/29/2005 11:34:58 AM PDT by headsonpikes (The Liberal Party of Canada are not b*stards - b*stards have mothers!)
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